Stewart’s father-in-law, Keith, took over Draffanmuir in the early 1980s and converted to organic production in 1999. Stuart and his wife Kirsty took over the farm in 2016, prior to which Stewart was a lecturer at SRUC and an art teacher working with students with additional needs in land-based industries.
The farm supports around 100 cows, a mixture of small Friesian and Holstein cattle mixed with Montbelliard and Norwegian red, the aim being to breed small, healthy animals which milk well from forage and have good health traits. The cattle are milked in a very old herringbone swingover parlour, but it works well and the milk is sold through OMSCO.
Draffanmuir has adopted a paddock-grazing system as a result of SOMP’s grass to glass grant. This has improved pasture quality and farm profitability, and the family enjoy watching the cattle skipping to their new grazing every day as though they were being turned out for the first time in the spring. Stewart is pleased to produce milk in a way that meets consumers’ expectations of animals lying out in fresh pasture and chewing the cud. He also relishes the challenges of organic production, especially having to work in harmony with the farm’s own resources.